By Justin Allec

This is Black Pirates Pub on a Friday. Local bands Bay Street Bastards and Forever Dead are supporting a touring Kill Matilda. Suddenly amps are switched on. The Bay Street Bastards go on, and things are getting rancorous.

It’s still early, and there’s standing room to be had. With a view of the stage with a few others, I stand waiting, watching. Three folks take to the stage: a riot grrrl, a grizzly dude on bass, and a demure-looking drummer.

I quickly learn that Kill Matilda will not take no for an answer. Lead guitarist Dusty Exner commands, you, yes, you and you and you and you come here, there’s a punk rock show going on. She and her cohorts, bassist Mykel Exner and drummer Marcus Luk, kick the hell out of their first song. It has a little more than three cords and it is awesome: raw pop punk at barroom volume. Kill Matilda commands more and more attention as the crowd edges closer. You could use Sing Sing Death House as a touchstone, but with cartoon levels of Tarantino-approved violence, and catchy choruses about revenge and knife fights. Whatever dirt they’ve had to eat along the way, they’re gonna turn that into fun, even if all their tricks don’t work and the bar isn’t packed.

Newer songs from their recently re-released #Punk#Zombie#RocknRoll are more realized, thoughtful in their pop structure and that pre-chorus guitar hook. If some parts sound rough it’s because they’ve lost two members to zombies, so Dusty has had to step up. Nothing stops them. By the end of their set, Mr. Quiet Drummer has gone full Animal. Mykel takes over and belts out a classic “Die Die My Darling,” and, to counter a drunk request, Dusty finishes with “I Need a Hero.” A sing-along, and a small mosh pit shows the crowd is pleased.

It’s past midnight, and the scuzzy sounds of Forever Dead are closing things out. Some people have left, swaying, while others have just arrived. It’s just another Friday night at Black Pirates Pub, but it’s also a much needed dose of punk rock.

Kill Matilda is touring Canada to promote their six-song EP re-release #Punk#Zombie#RocknRoll, check them out and download their Geisha With A Switchblade graphic novel at